Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A Mostly Wordless Christmas Post

Christmas was so fun this year!  It was truly magical to experience the wonder of it all through Ayden and Rylee's eyes.  I've always loved Christmas, but I have to say, it's a million times better with kids!  Especially since they now are old enough to really start getting into it.  So weird to think this was actually our 3rd Christmas together.  We hardly count the first one since they were only a day and a half old and in the NICU.  Last year was fun, but they were only a year old and didn't really get it.  This year was magical though!

We took them to a place called Storybook Land, which is basically a bunch of displays from different fairy tales, nursery rhymes, and animated movies.  They were captivated by it all!  They wanted so badly to hop the little tiny fence and play with everything.  We had hoped to visit Santa while we were there, but there was a huge line and after waiting 20 minutes, Ayden had enough and went into complete meltdown mode.  After estimating about another 15 minutes waiting, we decided to just go home.

He managed to get one leg over that little fence several times!
She pulled several teddy bears from the displays that we had to put back.

I know lots of people think Elf on the Shelf is creepy, but I think it's just something fun.  We did nothing more than move "Baby Elf," as Rylee called him, every night.  We weren't sure they'd even get that, but after just a few days, Rylee woke up every morning and searched for it.  Once Ayden realized we weren't going to let him play with it, he could careless and was never interested!  haha!

Decorating cookies at Community Playgroup

We spent Christmas Eve with my family and Ayden and Rylee finally got to see Santa!  One of my uncles has slipped away and dressed up as Santa for several years now.  Even with four kids age 2 or younger, not a single one cried this year!  That was a first!

I love this picture of Santa and Rylee looking at each other.

Ayden LOVED his gift from Santa!
Potty Time with Elmo, with sound effects.

It's impossible to get a good picture with 8 kids!
Baby Pearl is hidden behind Ayden's book.

After everyone had their turn with Santa, Rylee crawled right back up on his lap for some one-on-one time.

My Grandma with Santa

Rylee with her Auntie

Ayden with his Uncle (my sister's husband)

Tony pulling double duty as Daddy and Uncle.

Ayden was DONE with taking pictures and holding still!

We spent Christmas morning at home.  Tony and I had so much fun putting everything under the tree.  As we were filling the stockings, he commented that "he'd always wanted to do this!"

Everything ready for Christmas morning.

The bikes are a little big for them yet, but with their birthday only 2 days before Christmas, we thought this was the best time to give them.  They'll definitely be ready for them by this summer.

Reading one of their new books.

We put Rylee and Ayden down for early naps that morning, and when they woke up, we left for Christmas with the in-laws.  We stayed with them overnight, and woke up the next day for another Christmas morning with the grandparents, and Tony's brother and his family.  I didn't get very many pictures while we were there unfortunately, but here's a few:

Grandpa and his Mini-Me

She really does love her new stick pony, even if she doesn't look like it!  lol

To end this post, I'll share just two more pictures of cuteness.  Ayden and Rylee love these chairs that we gave them for Christmas!

A lazy Sunday, watching Frozen.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Microblog Monday: Losing My Mind

Today is one of those days that I totally feel like I'm losing my mind as a sahm.  Rylee spent a good 30 minutes straight this morning in total meltdown mode, unless I was holding her.  Of course this all happened while I was trying to make breakfast.  Ayden was in a great mood, but he makes me want to beat my head against the wall with all the trouble he manages to get into.  He gets into EVERYTHING.

So I decided after breakfast that I would take them outside, a nice distraction for Rylee and a chance for Ayden to burn off some energy.  It was cold, but not raining.  It took FOREVER to get them ready!  I literally had to put on Rylee's gloves 5 times, her hat 3 times, and did a jacket rezip once.  I put Ayden's gloves on 3 times.  Twin problems - while getting one ready, the other undoes everything you just did to get them ready!  Repeat, repeat, repeat.  Oh.  Em.  Gee.  After all that, we only got 20 minutes outside before we had to come back in because Rylee pooped.  Grrrr...

Back in the house, more whining and constant pulling on my pants.  I never knew it would be so difficult to stay dressed with kids around!!!  Fighting ensued between them and toys went into time out.

It is now finally nap time.  Thank goodness, because someone (I'm not sure who) was not going to survive much longer.  PLEASE let it be a long nap day....

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Monday, December 21, 2015

Microblog Monday: Diaper Eating

Diaper eating.  Sounds great doesn't it?  Ayden has been a diaper eating crazy kid for about a month or so now.  Seriously.  I have written about other oral fixations he's had, such as when we first moved into this house and he was pulling little carpet pieces out and eating them.

Back in February, when he was a carpet eater.

He's always had a fascination with hair.  He went through a phase of playing with people's hair constantly, whether it was on your head or arms, it didn't matter.  When his hair got long enough, he started pulling his own hair out and eating it.  At the advice of his pediatrician, we buzzed his hair off in order to make it a non issue, and made sure to redirect him anytime he played with anyone else's hair.

Most recently, he's been picking at his diapers pulling little diaper fuzzies off, and then eating it.  He now knows how to pull his pants down for access to his diapers, and he can unzip his pj's.  One morning when I went in to get him out of bed, he had his pj's unzipped and was happily sitting there eating his frickin diaper!  It's gotten so bad (tmi alert!) that about a week ago while changing a poopy diaper, I literally had to help pull out a LARGE wad of fuzz that was stuck half in, half out.

I had planned to address this issue at their 2 year check up in January, but at the advice of several wise mommy friends I know, I called and scheduled an appointment to get him in sooner.  So that is what we get to do tomorrow afternoon.  I get to take him to the doctor because he's become a diaper eater and fuzz pooper.

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Sunday, December 20, 2015

A 2nd Birthday Party

Yesterday we celebrated Ayden and Rylee's second birthday.  Geesh.  I can't believe they will be TWO already on the 23rd.  The saying, "the days are long but the years are short" really is so true.

We ended up with a small gathering at our house with Tony's family.  I was disappointed that none of my family was able to attend.  My sister and her husband had already purchased tickets for a Holiday Express train ride for their family, so they couldn't come.  Don't even ask me about my mom.  She was going to come, but then she wasn't, but then she changed her mind and was going to come, and then the day of, she called to say she wasn't coming after all.  I knew she wouldn't couldn't come if she had to drive herself, because she would have been going home in the dark and she can't drive at night.  She's also afraid to drive here by herself because we live so far away.  I get it.  I understand why they all couldn't come, but that doesn't mean I wasn't sad that none of them were here.  So we ended up with a small group of Tony's side of the family, which included his parents, grandpa, a few aunts and uncles, and two of Tony's grown cousins.

It seemed kind of funny to me that we were having a 2 year old birthday party, and Ayden and Rylee were the only kids here!  To be fair, part of that reason is that we didn't invite any of their little friends, so it only would have been cousins (which they have a lot of!)  Instead, we invited both sets of their twin friends to join us on their actual birthday this Wednesday, to join us at the trampoline park, Get Air, for lots of jumping fun!  We are looking forward to that!

Despite not having a large turnout to their party, Ayden and Rylee had a fantastic time and truly, that is all that matters!  Rylee entertained everyone by giving high fives and asking "are you kay?" every time someone coughed.  Cutest thing ever!  Ayden entertained everyone with his constant activity and getting into everything.

Ayden dumped the presents out and then climbed in and out of this tote a dozen times.  He thought it was the best thing ever!

An uncle helping Rylee figure out her new ABC singing Elmo

I got a very simple cake from Costco and just had them write Happy Birthday with no decorations, so that I could add the two Elmo birthday candles.  They were much cleaner cake eaters this year than last year!  haha  Ayden took a bite of the cake and decided he wasn't much of a cake eater, so he just played with his piece instead.  Rylee actually liked the cake and took several bites, but has a lot more self control than her momma and left a lot behind.  The problem with having a Costco cake and a small turnout for the party?  Lots of cake left over.  I have eaten way too much cake....

Snuggling with Daddy and playing with their new Magna Doodles.

Only three more days and we will have TWO year olds!!!!  Eeeek!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Toddlers and Christmas Trees

We always get a real tree for Christmas.  We live in Oregon.  It seems like a must.  Actually, we hadn't even gotten a tree for the last 4 years.  Last year, because Ayden and Rylee were pulling up on everything and at the beginning stages of walking.  The year before that because I was very, very pregnant with twins and we ended up spending Christmas in the hospital.  The two years prior to that, well, we didn't get a tree because we got super lazy.  It was just us.  We didn't have kids around, so it kind of just seemed like a waste of time.

This year, we had to get a tree though!  Now we have kids!  We have memories to make! Tony always insists on waiting until two weeks before Christmas to get our tree because of the fire hazard.  He was all "if you want to get a tree sooner, we can, but we'll have to get another one once the first one dies."  Yeah, right.  Like we're going to decorate the first one, undecorate it, and then start all over.  Not gonna happen buddy.  He knew that would be my answer and was just being sarcastic.    We've also talked about getting a fake tree, but then we would miss out on the experience of searching for our perfect tree and cutting it down.  I agreed to wait, but really, really thought we could have gotten our tree at least the weekend before.  I told him next year we HAVE to get it 3 weeks out from Christmas and we will just take it down right after.  It's hard to wait when everyone (it feels like everyone) else has had their trees up since the day after Thanksgiving!  I love Christmas.  I love the excitement of all the lights, Santa Claus, Elf on the Shelf, and all that good stuff.  Even though in the few years prior to having kids, we lost all the excitement for whatever reason.  As I said, I think we just got lazy.  I wanted to share all the fun with Ayden and Rylee!

So, Saturday was our tree hunting day!  Unfortunately, it was pouring down rain and really windy, but we survived!  I would have loved to get pictures of the experience, but due to the weather, I opted to leave my phone in the car.  We put Ayden and Rylee's amazing Tuffo Muddybuddy rain suits on, and off we went.  They enjoyed wandering around exploring, but really had no clue what the fuss was all about for picking out a tree.  After cutting down our tree and while Daddy tied it to the top of our car, Ayden and Rylee enjoyed their very first candycane while staying under cover.  I did get a picture of them then!

Watching Daddy tie the tree to the car

Saturday night after Ayden and Rylee went to bed, Tony and I got the tree set up in the house, and put the lights and ribbon on the tree so it would be ready to decorate in the morning.  I went through all our Christmas ornaments and separated them into two bins.  One bin contained all the valuable, breakable ornaments that would not be making an appearance this year, and the other bin contained all the ornaments I deemed safe for Ayden and Rylee.

Before getting the kiddos out of bed Sunday morning, I made sure to turn the lights on the tree so they would get that magical first look!  They've already seen a few Christmas trees with decorations at other places, but THIS tree was in OUR house!

Rylee's first look at the tree.  Notice the ribbon?

It took Ayden all of 10 seconds to take the ribbon off the bottom of the tree and try to unplug the lights.

He had a grand ole time with the ribbon.

Ayden and Rylee were very excited when I brought out the box of decorations.  They were fascinated by all the new "toys!"  They really didn't understand the concept of decorating the tree, but they REALLY enjoyed UNdecorating it all the live long day.

Checking out the goods.

She sometimes put an ornament on the tree, but mostly loved taking them off.

His version of "helping" decorate: take ALL ornaments off as quickly as possible!

By the end of the day, Tony was ready to throw the tree in the garage.  He was very happy that he didn't have to be on very much tree duty over the next two weeks, because he gets to go to work.  lol!  Both strands of ribbon have been removed.  The tree almost toppled over onto the hooligans trying to get the top ribbon off.  It actually would have fallen on them if I wasn't right there to catch it.  Sigh.  They have attempted to pull the lights off several times and are now just thrown back on randomly instead of being well placed.  The ornaments within their reach have been pulled off and put back on many times.

Our tree at the end of day one.

While redecorating the tree that night, I found a stash of Cheerios in the tree!  Bahahaha!

The end of day two, which resulted in five broken ornaments.

I can now say that I am extremely thankful that we didn't get our tree a week earlier!  I THOUGHT I had wanted to, but that was before I fully realized what having a Christmas tree with toddler twins would be like.  It will be better next year, right?  RIGHT????

While they are full of destruction and it's a little stressful to make sure they don't strangle themselves with Christmas lights, I am loving the fact that we are getting to experience this time of year with our kids.  We have kids!!!  It still boggles my mind that after so many years of being married without kids, that we now are so incredibly blessed to experience what it's like to be parents and start our own holiday traditions.

It's blurry, but sometimes that's the best I can get with an almost 2 year old!

The stinker wouldn't look at me for a picture!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Microblog Monday: Infertility Sisterhood

Sometimes there are things in life that just don't make sense.  Life is sometimes heartbreakingly cruel and unfair.  It seems especially so in the infertility world.  This past Friday, one of our infertility sisters lost her son.  He was a healthy 13.5 months old, but for some reason, he didn't wake up from his nap.

No mother should ever have to bury their child.  This momma isn't a blogger, but she is a friend of mine from one of my infertility support groups.  He was their miracle baby after several miscarriages, and now he joins his angel siblings in heaven.

This news has rocked the world of many among my infertility friends.  I wish that none of us had to experience the painful journey of infertility, but more than that, nobody EVER should have to face the devastating loss of a child.

While I am so very heartbroken over this devastating news, I am also uplifted and encouraged by the incredible outpouring of love extended toward this momma and her husband.  It's been amazing to see how we can all band together when one of us is in such need of support.  I'm incredibly honored to be a part of such a strong sisterhood.  Thank you all so much for your friendship.

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Thursday, December 3, 2015


I'm a sahm, yet somehow life always seems to be a little bit crazy.  Why is it that I can never get anything done?  Hmmm....

Last week I sat down to write a blog post, but every single time I would log onto the internet and get started, the site would crash within a few minutes.  I tried several times and got the same result every single time.  I finally broke down and got the name of a highly recommended computer guy and took our computer in to get serviced.  When I picked up the computer, I asked him how bad it was.  He said that normally when people bring in their computers, there's usually about 200-300 malware programs/files.  We had 1278!!!! Ummm, yeah.  We knew it was something that needed to be done, and I finally decided to buck up and take the time to deal with it, resulting in no posts last week.  Then Tuesday I sat down to write a post again, but for some reason the internet wasn't working.  Sigh.  But, here I am!

We had a nice, but crazy Thanksgiving.  We hosted my family at our house.  The kids outnumbered the adults.  Mayhem!  I love when the cousins can get together and play, but out of the seven kids that were here, six of them are age 5 or under.  Let's just say that the boys really feed off of each other and get themselves worked into a point of major rough housing and semi destruction, in addition to not being able to listen very well.  We also have a horrible kitchen in terms of space, which makes it impossible for even just two people to work in there at the same time.  With that said, it was still a major blessing to spend time with family and to enjoy the fact that we have so many kiddos, even if they make us want to pull our hair out.

Thanksgiving 2012
Oh, the difference 3 years makes!
Nathanial age 4, Adilyn age 2, Steven age 5.5, Urijah almost 5, Ayden almost 2, Eliana age 10, Rylee almost 2.

On Sunday, Tony and I had planned to take Adyen and Rylee to get pictures with Santa Claus.  We put them down for naps early, got them all dressed up and loaded into the car after naps, missed our exit to the mall so had to turn around and go back, and as we were about to pull into the parking lot, Rylee puked ALL OVER herself and her car seat.

Tony: "Is she puking?"
Me:  "Yes.  There will be no pics with Santa today."

That is the second time she has puked while on our way to get pictures taken.  I'm wondering if she has an aversion....  We'll try again this weekend.

In other news, Ayden continues his adventurous climbing ways.  Seriously, nothing is safe at our house.

He was after the leftover sausage links from breakfast.

Rylee got her first haircut yesterday!  There's a gal that attends the same Community Playgroup that we go to and she is a hairdresser.  She does it out of her home, so it was perfect for us to go to her house and then have a little play date at the same time.  She has a daughter that is just a few months older than Rylee and Ayden.  I've been (im)patiently waiting for Rylee's hair to grow so I can put it in cute little ponytails.  In the past few weeks, it really has taken off and grown quite a bit, but it's so fine that it is impossible to put a ponytail in.  It was starting to get a really shabby look to it.  Tony made the observation that she had some great Elvis sideburns going and I commented about how she could be on That 70's show!  So it was time for a trim, in the hopes that it will really help her hair finally take off.  She sat really great in the chair for all of about a minute and a half for her haircut, and then she was over it already!  She was ready to get down and play!  So then the gal just followed her around with scissors in hand and took a little snip every opportunity she had. That way Rylee could play and she still got her haircut.

Don't let the picture deceive you.  She really didn't sit still for long!
Once we got home, I started getting lunch ready and Ayden had a complete meltdown.  I thought he was just hungry, in addition to it being almost nap time, but he didn't even remotely touch his food or take a drink of his milk.  Turned out, he had a fever that apparently came on rather suddenly!  He was a hot mess.  Funny thing is that he was perfectly fine once he woke up from nap.  It was a very short lived fever, but one that also hit again in the middle of the night for another couple hours.  Then he was perfectly fine once again this morning.  Strange.

Miss Rylee took awhile to finally go to sleep for nap today.  When I went in to check on her, I found that she had thrown all of her blankets, bunny, and glow seahorse out of her crib.  Oh, and her shirt!!  Silly girl!

So that's what has been happening in our neck of the woods.  Life may be crazy and drive me insane a lot of the time, but there's also so many blessings.  Oh!  And did I mention that in just 20 days, we will have TWO year olds????  Eeeek!

*Please excuse any typos that may be in this post.  Ayden has just woken up from his nap so I have no chance to proof read, but want to get this posted!